Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Sub-zero temperatures causing battery and tire sales to spike

KIRKWOOD, MO - The bitter cold temperatures in St. Louis this week have left some drivers searching for a new battery or repair center open on the holiday.

The National Tire and Battery store on Manchester road was open in Kirkwood Monday fixing all that ails cold cars.

"We've been getting a lot of tire problems lately and a lot of battery problems," said Store Manager Sam Manzela.

In a typical week, Manzela and his mechanics usually sell about a dozen batteries. However, they have sold about three dozen in the last week.

"The colder it gets, the harder it is going to be for the battery to start the car, so it's good to make sure that gets checked on a regular basis," Manzela said.

They have also dealt with customers who didn't have adequate tires for their trips.

"People are starting to lose a little traction on their tires," Manzela said. "This winter kind of snuck up on people a little bit. So, we've had some people that have slipped a little bit, running into curbs and stuff like that."

Tires can lose as much as one pound per square inch for each 10 degrees drop in temperature. The cold can also cause a vehicles fluids to get thicker.

"You want to make sure your tires are in good shape," Manzela said. "Have them inspected to make sure there is no irregular wear on them. make sure your alignment is good because that's going to affect your tire wear and how the car handles. you want to make sure that your antifreeze is nice and full."

Manzela also said it is a good idea to get the engine going before taking off.